How To!

How To Save the Planet, Starting With Your Yard

Doug Tallamy on why you should immediately replace half your grass.


Episode Notes

In the last 24 years, Judy has moved approximately 16 times for her husband’s military career. But her family has finally settled down in a lovely house with a yard near Annapolis, Maryland. Now Judy is hoping to transform her outdoor space into something that’s beautiful and environmentally friendly. On this episode of How To!, Doug Tallamy explains why, now more than ever, we need people like Judy to plant native species in order to revive our ecosystem. He has some surprisingly easy tips for replacing your grass (take that, lawn mower!), finding plants that pollinators will love, and even getting rid of those pesky mosquitoes.


Homegrown National Park

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard

Audubon Native Plants Database

National Wildlife Federation Native Plant Finder

SEEK by iNaturalist

The Life and Death of the American Lawn

If you liked this episode, check out “How To Squash Your Fear of Bugs (and Other Phobias)

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rosemary Belson with help from Katie Shepherd.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now at


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

All episodes